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Class-A Great Lakes 2016 staff includes 3 Dodgers coaches in new positions

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Gil Velazquez, seen here coaching the rookie-level Arizona League Dodgers in 2015, will manage Class-A Great Lakes in his second season as a professional coach.
Gil Velazquez, seen here coaching the rookie-level Arizona League Dodgers in 2015, will manage Class-A Great Lakes in his second season as a professional coach.
Photo: Tomo San | LA Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- Among the minor league coaches announced by the Dodgers for 2016 on Thursday include three coaches new to Class-A Great Lakes in Midland, Mich., all coming from a different spot in the organization in 2015.

Gil Velazquez, 36, is the manager for the Loons, in his second year as a coach after spending his first year as the fourth coach for the rookie-level Arizona League Dodgers in 2015.

Joining Velazquez is Bobby Cuellar, in his second year in the Dodgers organization after serving as pitching coach for rookie-level Ogden last year. Cuellar is second to John Shoemaker in experience among Dodgers minor league coaches, having been a coach dating back to 1983.

Cuellar, 63, has coached for the Mariners, Expos, Rangers, Twins, Pirates and now Dodgers, including 11 seasons (1995-2001, 2006-2007, 2013-2014) on various major league coaching staffs.

Following Cuellar on the Ogden-to-Midland trail is fourth coach Fumi Ishibashi, who served in the same capacity with the Raptors in 2015 before moving up midseason to Great Lakes, swapping spots with Angel Sanchez. Ishibashi, 32, has been coaching in the organization since 2010, including parts of two years (2012-2013) as a bullpen catcher on the major league team in Los Angeles.

John Valentin makes the biggest move among all Dodgers coaches, joining the Loons as hitting coach after three years on the major league staff as assistant hitting coach.

But coaching in the minors is nothing new to Valentin, who is in his ninth year coaching in the Dodgers system. Valentin managed at Class-A Inland Empire in 2008 then in Double-A Chattanooga in 2009, then was hitting coach in Chattanooga (2010) and Triple-A Albuquerque (2011-2012) before joining the major league club in 2013.

Class-A Great Lakes Loons Coaching Staff
2015 Great Lakes Position 2016 Great Lakes 2015 position
Luis Matos Manager Gil Velazquez Rookie-level Arizona League fourth coach
Glenn Dishman Pitching coach Bobby Cuellar Rookie-level Ogden pitching coach
Jay Gibbons Hitting coach John Valentin Dodgers assistant hitting coach
Fumi Ishibashi Fourth coach Fumi Ishibashi same

Luis Matos, who managed Great Lakes in 2015, moves up to Triple-A as the fourth coach in 2016. Jay Gibbons is the hitting coach for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, while pitching coach Glenn Dishman is now coaching in the Giants' system.